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2016-17 New York Rangers Yearbook

chatting with Broderick in the old Garden’s rotunda before a game. The Rangers required six more years before winning their second Stanley Cup; this time beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in the spring of 1933. It wasn’t just the regular man — and woman — on the street who were embracing the Blueshirts, but New York’s upper crust as well. In addition to the usual City Hall celebration, this time Garden executive Bill Carey hosted a sumptuous celebration at the Hotel Astor in Time Square. It was there that MSG’s new president General John Reed Kilpatrick was introduced by Patrick and the two would remain close friends. Thanks to that gregarious duet, the Rangers also became buddies with Broadway’s vast show business community, as the club is today. Celebrities such as tunesmith and playwright Cole Porter as well as headliners like Ethel Merman, Gertrude Lawrence, Humphrey Bogart and George Raft had become avid Rangers fans. By the late 1930s, the Blueshirts fan base had grown to even greater proportions when Patrick — along with aide Tommy Lockhart — installed the Rovers, an Eastern League farm team, on to the Garden menu. Young fans — myself included — loved the Sunday afternoon double-headers featuring the Rovers. And most of us eventually graduated to the Rangers games played at night. Eventually, the Old Guard, winners of the first two Cups — featuring the likes of Frank Boucher, Bill and Bun Cook along with Ching Johnson — gave way to a new breed. Lester’s two sons, defenseman Murray and left wing Lynn, helped the Rangers win their third Cup in 1940. Meanwhile, Lester turned the coaching reins over to Boucher, with excellent results. Fans were especially enthralled by the six-game victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto when they learned about Boucher’s “secret weapon.” Instead of the standard pregame pep talk, the rookie coach herded his skaters to the Ford Hotel where they hoisted a pint or two. “It was,” captain Art Coulter admitted after the Cup was won, “a good loosener!” The Rangers further won the hearts of Gothamites at the start of World War II. Both of Lester’s sons, Murray and Lynn, were among the first NHL players to enlist in the U.S. Army while Cup captain Coulter joined the U.S. Coast Guard. By actual count, the Blueshirts lost more top players to the American and Canadian armed forces than any other big-league club. Following the war, an even closer bond between players and fans was forged with the formation of the Rangers Fan Club in 1950. One of the most colorful and passionate members was cowbell ringing Hilda Chester. During the summer, she did her yelling for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field and when the hockey season began she rang her cowbell for the Rangers. Another Garden regular was interior designer Sally Lark. She sat shoulder-to-shoulder with the penalty bench, which, in those days, was shared by players of both teams. On any given night, Sally could be seen chatting with the skating sinners, including some members of the visiting team.


2016-17 New York Rangers Yearbook
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